Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation
Join the Griffin's Guide HUNTING newsletter

Get weekly news, tips and photos from the world of hunting.
[contact-form-7 id="35884" title="GG Email"]
No Thanks!

General Hook & Line Regulations

Brought to you by:

This table provides general statewide regulations for the species listed. However, there are many waters in the state that have fishing regulations which differ from those in this table. For instance, it is unlawful to possess fishing gear or fish for suckers on designated trout waters during the closed fishing season. Please refer to the Michigan-Wisconsin Boundary Waters, Sylvania Wilderness Area (see Michigan-Indiana Border Lakes), Exceptions to General Regulations by County, and Inland Trout & Salmon Regulations for exceptions.

Table 1: General Hook & Line Regulations

(Note 1)

Minimum Size (inches)

Daily Possession Limit

Possession Seasons

Largemouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

(Note 2)


5 total in any combination but no more than 2 northern pike

(See Note 7)

3rd. Sat. in Jun. – Dec. 31: L. St. Clair, St. Clair R., Detroit R.  ★ (see Note 2)

Sat. before Memorial Day – Dec. 31: All other waters including Great Lakes (except those listed in Note 2) ★ (see Note 2)


(Note 3)


May 15 – Mar. 15: Upper Peninsula Great Lakes and inland waters, and St. Marys R.

Last Sat. in Apr. – Mar. 15: Lower Peninsula inland waters

Open All Year: Lower Peninsula Great Lakes, L. St. Clair, St. Clair R. and Detroit R.

Northern Pike
(Note 7)


Flathead Catfish


Open All Year

Channel Catfish



(including Tiger Muskellunge)


Only 1 per angler per angling year (Apr. 1 – Mar. 31)

(See Note 7)

May 15 – Mar. 15: Upper Peninsula Great Lakes and inland waters, and St. Marys R.

Last Sat. in Apr. – Mar. 15: Lower Peninsula inland waters

Open All Year: Lower Peninsula Great Lakes

1st Sat. in Jun. – Dec. 15: L. St. Clair, St. Clair R. and Detroit R.

Yellow Perch
(Note 4)

No size limit


Open All Year

(Note 5)

25 in any combination of the listed species

White Bass

25 on Gr. Lakes, L. St. Clair, St. Marys R., St. Clair R., and Detroit R.

10 on inland waters

Lake Whitefish
(Lake Herring)

12 in any combination

Lake Sturgeon

Please see Table 2, (Lake Sturgeon Regulationsfor Lake Sturgeon Regulations


No size limit

2 gallons

Open All Year
(See General Netting Regulations Table 5 for Netting Regulations)

All others
(Note 6)

No size limit

No possession limit

Open All Year

Notes for Table 1

Note 1 – All Coolwater fish:

Coolwater fish include all species listed in this table. Regulations for trout and salmon on inland waters are provided on Inland Trout & Salmon Regulations.

Note 2 – Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass:

On L. Michigan, within one-half mile of the following islands of the Beaver Island Archipelago: Beaver, Garden, High and Hog, (CHARLEVOIX) the open season is Jul. 1 – Dec. 31  .

Catch-and-Immediate-Release (CIR) seasons: CIR fishing for bass is allowed all year on all waters, unless otherwise closed to fishing. All bass caught must be immediately (see Common Terms) returned to the water.


Note 3 – Walleye:

  • Lake Erie: The daily possession limit will remain at 6 walleye through Apr. 30, 2015. The daily possession limit for walleye will be set on May 1 each year. A special publication announcing the new daily possession limit will be available at DNR offices and license vendors starting in Apr. 2015. The new daily possession limit will also be announced on the DNR website ( and in a pre-recorded message at 888-367-7060.
  • L. St. Clair and St. Clair R.: On these waters the daily possession limit for walleye is 6 and the minimum size limit is 13″.
  • Little Bay de Noc (DELTA): No more than 1 walleye over 23″ may be possessed in daily limit north of a line drawn from Peninsula Point Lighthouse to the mouth of the Ford R.
  • Michigan waters of Green Bay: from the mouth of the Menominee R. northward to the latitudinal line (45 degrees/30 minutes) located approximately 6 miles north of the Cedar R. from Mar. 2 – Fri. before 1st Sat. in May the daily possession limit is 1 walleye and from the 1st Sat. in May – Mar. 1 the daily possession limit is 5 walleye .
  • Mullett L. proper, Cheboygan R. from Mullett L. downstream to Cheboygan Dam (T38N, R1W, S31), and Black R. from Alverno Dam (T37N, R1W, S35) downstream to its confluence with the Cheboygan R. (CHEBOYGAN): The daily possession limit for walleye is 3 and the season for harvest of walleye is May 15 – Mar. 15, inclusive.

Note 4 – Yellow Perch:

  • L. Huron waters of MACKINAC and CHIPPEWA and the St. Marys R., the minimum size limit is 7″.
  • L. Michigan south of the 45th parallel (excluding the Grand Traverse Bays) the possession limit is 35 perch.
  • L. Gogebic (GOGEBIC and ONTONAGON): The daily possession limit for yellow perch is 25 with no more than 5 yellow perch 12″ or greater.

Note 5 – Sunfishes:

Includes: black and white crappies, bluegill, green and hybrid sunfish, longear, pumpkinseed, redear, rock bass, and warmouth.

Note 6 – Other Species:

Those species not listed above and not considered trout or salmon or threatened and endangered species which are protected from harvest.

Note 7 – Muskellunge & Northern Pike:

Muskellunge Harvest Tag Requirement

A non-transferable Muskellunge Harvest Tag is required in order to harvest muskellunge (including tiger muskellunge) in Michigan waters. For more information see Common Terms).

Waters with higher minimum size limits on muskellunge: BARRY: Gun L. 46”, Thornapple L. (from McKeown Rd. to Barger Rd.) 50”. OTSEGO: Big Bear L. 50”.

Lakes with Muskellunge & Northern Pike possession seasons from the last Sat. in Apr. – Nov. 30: BARRY: Thornapple L. (from McKeown Rd. to Barger Rd.) LENAWEE: L. Hudson OTSEGO: Big Bear L. VAN BUREN: Bankson, Brownwood, and Round Lks. (Keeler Twp. T4S, R16W, S13) .

Lakes with 24” – 34” protected slot limit on northern pike and daily possession limit of 2 northern pike (in combination with other species as indicated in Table 1): ALLEGAN: Pine Cr. Flooding KALAMAZOO: Long L. (T3S, R10W, S17/18/19/30) KENT: Bass L. (T10N, R9W, S12/13/14) LUCE: Blind Sucker Flooding and Bodi L. MONTCALM: Townline L.

Waters where up to 5 northern pike of any size may be taken with only 1 greater than 24” allowed in the daily possession limit (in combination with other species as indicated in Table 1): Alcona: Badger L. Alger: Nawakwa, Trout and 16 Mile Lks. Antrim: Beals, Benway, Ellsworth, Hanley, Scotts, Six Mile, St. Clair, and Wilson Lks. Baraga: Vermillac (Worm) L. Benzie: ★ Long L. Charlevoix: Deer, Fox, Geneserath, Six Mile, and St. Clair Lks. Cheboygan: Black R. (upstream of Tower Dam includes Tower Pond and tributaries), Silver and Wildwood Lks. Chippewa: Frenchman and Trout (Carp) Lks. Clare: Eight Point L. and L. Thirteen Crawford: Big Creek Imp., River and Pickerel Lks. Delta: Carr, Chicago, Hamilton, and Lyman Lks. and Escanaba R. (upstream from first dam at US- 2) Dickinson: Sawyer L. Emmet: French Farm and O’Neal L. Floodings Gladwin: L. Lancer Gogebic: African (Big and Little), Chaney, Cisco, Clearwater, East Bay, Fishhawk, Indian, Lindsley, Morley, Poor, Record, and Thousand Island Lks. Grand Traverse: Boardman L., Brown Bridge Pond and L. Dubonnet. Houghton: Rice L. Iron: Bone, Buck, Indian, Runkle and Winslow Lks., Hemlock Falls and Michigamme Reservoir, Michigamme Falls and Peavy Reservoir, L. St. Kathryn, Deer R., Net R., and Net R. Wide Waters. Keweenaw: Schlatter L. Leelanau: Florence L. (S. Manitou Is.). Luce: East and Muskallonge Lks. Mackinac: East, Millecoquins, and South Manistique Lks. Manistee: Bar and Chief Lks. Marquette: Bass (East), Cedar, Engman, Shag (Big), and Witch Lks., Dead R. Storage Basin, Middle Br. Escanaba R., Big West Br. Escanaba R. mainstream downstream to Boney Falls Basin (except Greenwood, Schweitzer and Cataract Reservoirs) Mason: Hackert (Crystal) L. Mecosta: Haymarsh and Horsehead Lks. Menominee: Westman Imp. Missaukee: Missaukee L. Montcalm: Crystal L. Montmorency: ★ Robarge L., East and West Town Corner, and Pug Lks., Black R. and tributaries Muskegon: Big Blue L. Newaygo: Diamond, Nichols, Ryerson (Long) Lks. Oceana: Round (Wykoff) and Silver Lks. Ogemaw: East Twin L., L. Ogemaw Osceola: L. Miramichi, Diamond, Rose and Wells Lks. Oscoda: Pickerel L. Otsego: Black R. and tributaries Presque Isle: Francis L., Ocqueoc R. and tributaries, Ocqueoc Watershed Lakes (Ann, Bullhead, Ella, Emma, Ferdelman, Gorman, Horseshoe, Lost, Louise, Lower and Upper Barnhart, May, McIntosh, Moore, Mud and Nettie, and Ocqueoc), Black R. and tributaries and Tomahawk Flooding Roscommon: L. St. Helen, Cut R. (from the river mouth at Houghton L. upstream to CO 100 just downstream of Higgins L.), Houghton L., Backus Cr. from the stream mouth upstream, including all tributaries, Little Mud L. Flooding, Backus Cr. Flooding, and Backus L. Flooding Schoolcraft: Boot, Crooked, Kennedy, Stanley and Thunder Lks.; Seney National Wildlife Refuge Pools: contact Refuge office (906-586-9851).

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the home page
Brought to you by:
Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Michigan Department of Natural Resources allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Michigan Department of Natural Resources Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC &, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/ directly at 413-884-1001,
JF Griffin Media
J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: